“Tell me young son what do you see as you watch over the flock?”
“Oh father, I see God’s will for me.”
“How so young son?”
“Look closely father nearest to me the mindless cluster that hinders me so with constant baas and bleats so great that I cannot hear myself think. Yet in the distance there is one standing taller than the rest. She stands in splendor on the hill with white wool so pure it could never be stained. She gazes past the others as if they are spores carried away on a dry wind that she commands. She gazes into my very soul, a leader waiting to carry out a master’s plan. That is what I want to be.”
“Have you given her a name young son?”
“Oh no father for she is much too worthy for any common name.”
“Then we shall not name her but only refer to her as ewe for that is her gender.”
“I agree father, we shall call her ewe.”
“Walk with me my young son and you shall see the splendor of ewe.”
The shepherds walked with crooks in hand toward ewe. Step by step they approached the hilltop where she stood.
“Do you think we have come far enough my young son? We would not want to scare her any further from the flock.”
“Oh father, you cannot scare her she knows no fear of man. She will welcome us with wise eyes and offer a place of rest in the folds of her wool.”
“My young son I can go no further with you as I have become limited by my age, and my mind tells me the journey is too steep for my legs to travel.”
“I will continue father and bring her closer so you and I may share in her magnificence.”
“Use caution my young son, the rocks cover the hilltop like fortress walls awaiting their time to tumble and crush your very spirit.”
The young shepherd boy turned away from his father and continued up the hillside toward her. The journey was very treacherous, but the boy focused only on ewe and what a treasure it would be to bring her to his father.
The young shepherd boy dropped to his knees at the rock where ewe stood and bowed his head.
“Ewe, teacher and master of the many lessons I wish to learn, I beg you to journey with me to my father and share with us your wisdom.”
The air was still and the hilltop silent until the sound of the loosening pebbles on the altered rock gave way. The young shepherd boy immediately lifted his head and struggled to gain solid footing. He was met by a dark, blood soaked figure that snarled and produced a bellowing growl. The beast extended his razor sharp claws while sizing up this small shepherd boy with his piercing eyes.
“Barely enough to even begin to satisfy my hunger” thought the wolf. “Any last words shepherd boy?” hissed the wolf.
The boy shrank back and in a wavering voice asked, “Where is ewe?”
“Ewe?” questioned the wolf.
“Yes, ewe, my sheep?” the timid boy spoke again.
A hollow echoing laughter filled the hilltops that surrounded them. “Your sheep? Certainly she was never your sheep. She was mine!” the wolf hissed again. “Pretty little pawn she was but once I saw you kneel before me I knew I no longer needed her. There is ‘your sheep’.”
The wolf glanced quickly to his left and the young shepherd boy’s gaze followed.
There on a crimson soaked stone lay ewe. The slaughter brought tears to the young shepherd boy’s eyes. The mocking laughter quickly snapped him back to the foe at hand.
“Pitiful child that you should weep for ewe. Your own doing shall be the flock’s undoing. Didn’t you hear their cries? Too busy paying attention to ewe?” the wolf snarled in a malicious grin exposing his deadly blood stained fangs.
The young shepherd boy fell again to his knees and cried out as loud as he could,
“Father forgive me! I am a sinner.”
The crack of the blow to the head was as deafening as seven thunderstorms converging at once! The shepherd boy felt a warm liquid ooze down the side of his face. He raised his eyes up to see a silhouetted figure in the sunlight.
“My young son arise.”
“Father, it was, was…” the young boy stuttered as he gazed upon his father’s blood stained crook that had now been split in half. The lifeless body of the wolf was spread across the cold stony ground. After a few moments the boy looked at his father and asked, “How did you journey up the hill?”
“I heard your cries my young son and I prayed. My legs were made strong, my gait was made swift, and my love was made true.”
“But father, I am a sinner.”
“We are all sinners my son but ask and it shall be forgiven. When we stray from the flock He will find and lead us home.”
“Father, let us return to our flock.”
His father embraced him and the journey home began.